Georg Bartsch

University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria

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Publications (950)2618.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: New biomarkers are needed to improve the specificity of prostate cancer detection and characterisation of individual tumors. In a proteomics profiling approach using MALDI-MS tissue imaging on frozen tissue sections, we identified discriminating masses. Imaging analysis of cancer, non-malignant benign epithelium and stromal areas of 15 prostatectomy specimens in a test and 10 in a validation set identified characteristic m/z peaks for each tissue type, e.g. m/z 10775 for benign epithelial, m/z 6284 and m/z 6657.5 for cancer and m/z 4965 for stromal tissue. A 10-fold cross-validation analysis showed highest discriminatory ability to separate tissue types for m/z 6284 and m/z 6657.5, both overexpressed in cancer, and a multicomponent mass peak cluster at m/z 10775-10797.4 overexpressed in benign epithelial tissue. ROC AUC values for these three masses ranged from 0.85 to 0.95 in the discrimination of malignant and non-malignant tissue. To identify the underlying proteins, prostate whole tissue extract was separated by nano-HPLC and subjected to MALDI TOF/TOF analysis. Proteins in fractions containing discriminatory m/z masses were identified by MS/MS analysis and candidate marker proteins subsequently validated by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Biliverdin reductase B (BLVRB) turned out to be overexpressed in PCa tissue. In this study on cryosections of radical prostatectomies of prostate cancer patients, we performed a MALDI-MS tissue imaging analysis and a consecutive protein identification of significant m/z masses by nano-HPLC, MALDI TOF/TOF and MS/MS analysis. We identified BLVRB as a potential biomarker in the discrimination of PCa and benign tissue, also suggesting BVR as a feasible therapeutic target.
    Journal of proteomics 08/2013; · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of cell cycle control is a prerequisite for cancer onset and progression. In prostate cancer, increased activity of cell cycle genes has been associated with prognostic parameters such as biochemical relapse and survival. The identification of novel oncogenic and druggable targets in patient subgroups with poor prognosis may help to develop targeted therapy approaches. We analyzed prostate cancer and corresponding benign tissues (n = 98) using microarrays. The comparison of high- and low-grade tumors (Gleason score ≥ 4 + 3 vs. ≤ 3 + 4) revealed 144 differentially expressed genes (p < 0.05). Out of these, 15 genes were involved in the cell cycle process. The gene maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK) was identified to be highly correlated with cell cycle genes like UBE2C, TOP2A, CCNB2, and AURKB. Increased MELK gene expression in high-risk prostate cancer was validated by qPCR in an independent patient cohort (p < 0.005, n = 79). Immunohistochemistry analysis using a tissue microarray (n = 94) revealed increased MELK protein expression in prostate cancer tissues of high Gleason scores. RNAi-based inhibition of MELK in PC3 and LNCaP cells suggested putative function in chromatin modification, embryonic development and cell migration. The concerted inhibition of MELK and other cell cycle targets by the antibiotic siomycin A strongly impaired cell viability of prostate cancer cells, and may point to a novel therapy approach for a subset of high-risk prostate cancer patients.
    Journal of Molecular Medicine 09/2012; · 4.77 Impact Factor
  • Current Proteomics 05/2012; 9:132 - 142. · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Copy number variants (CNVs) are a recently recognized class of human germ line polymorphisms and are associated with a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Because of the strong genetic influence on prostate cancer, we sought to identify functionally active CNVs associated with susceptibility of this cancer type. We queried low-frequency biallelic CNVs from 1,903 men of Caucasian origin enrolled in the Tyrol Prostate Specific Antigen Screening Cohort and discovered two CNVs strongly associated with prostate cancer risk. The first risk locus (P = 7.7 × 10(-4), odds ratio = 2.78) maps to 15q21.3 and overlaps a noncoding enhancer element that contains multiple activator protein 1 (AP-1) transcription factor binding sites. Chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) data suggested direct cis-interactions with distant genes. The second risk locus (P = 2.6 × 10(-3), odds ratio = 4.8) maps to the α-1,3-mannosyl-glycoprotein 4-β-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase C (MGAT4C) gene on 12q21.31. In vitro cell-line assays found this gene to significantly modulate cell proliferation and migration in both benign and cancer prostate cells. Furthermore, MGAT4C was significantly overexpressed in metastatic versus localized prostate cancer. These two risk associations were replicated in an independent PSA-screened cohort of 800 men (15q21.3, combined P = 0.006; 12q21.31, combined P = 0.026). These findings establish noncoding and coding germ line CNVs as significant risk factors for prostate cancer susceptibility and implicate their role in disease development and progression.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2012; 109(17):6686-91. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PurposeIdentifiable causes of hypospadias, a midline fusion defect of the male ventral urethra, are still infrequently well-known. The aim of this study was to quantify the androgen receptor mRNA and androgen receptor protein in prepuces of boys with and without hypospadias.Material and Methods Forty prepuce specimens of circumcised boys, aged between 12 and 14 months, with (n=20) and without hypospadias (n=20), were investigated. Immediately after surgery all probes were fixed in formaldehyde and small parts were deep frozen in liquid nitrogen at -80° C. The total RNA of the specimens was isolated and cDNA was written. With the aid of real time PCR the amount of present androgen receptor mRNA was measured. For quantification of present androgen receptor protein, Western Blot (Bradford method) and immunohistochemistry for androgen receptor using standardized automated procedures (Discovery XT, Ventana) were performed. Statistical analyses using the the Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Mann-Whitney U-test were done.ResultsOur observations show that the androgen receptor mRNA is significantly increased in the prepuce of hypospadiac boys compared to specimens of boys with phimosis.(p<0,01) similarly the amount of androgen receptor protein is increased compared to healthy boys. (p<0.01) Our results provide evidence that the rise of androgen receptor mRNA and protein seems to be an indirect expression of a decreased androgen receptor DNA binding capability possibly indicating further missing polypeptide encoding.Conclusions Our results provide evidence that the different expression of androgen receptor mRNA indicates the extent of a defect androgen receptor signalling in boys with hypospadias.
    The Journal of Urology 04/2012; 4:S54. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The currently used prostate cancer serum marker has a low cancer specificity and improved diagnostics are needed. Here we evaluated whether autoantibodies are present in sera of prostate cancer patients and whether they are useful diagnostic markers for prostate cancer. Sera from 20 prostate cancer patients and 20 healthy controls were incubated on expression clone arrays containing more than 37,000 recombinant human proteins. Functional annotation clustering of the identified autoantigens was performed using the DAVID database. Autoantigens identified in the prostate cancer group were validated on microarrays using sera of 40 prostate cancer patients, 40 patients with elevated PSA levels but prostate cancer negative biopsies (benign disease), and 40 healthy controls. We detected autoantibodies against 408 different antigens in sera of prostate cancer patients. One hundred seventy-four of these were exclusively detected in the cancer group compared to the healthy control group. Functional annotation clustering revealed an enrichment of RNA-associated, cytoskeleton, and nuclear proteins. The autoantibody panel was validated in serum samples of independent prostate cancer patients. Autoantibody profiles discriminated between prostate cancer patients and benign disease patients with an ROC curve AUC of 0.71. TTLL12, a protein recently described to be over-expressed in prostate cancer, was the highest ranked discrimination autoantigen. A variety of autoantibodies were identified in sera of prostate cancer patients and provide a first step towards autoantibody diagnostics. Serum autoantibodies reflect the disease and represent valuable tools not only for prostate cancer, but also for other diseases affecting the immune response.
    The Prostate 03/2012; 72(4):427-36. · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    European Journal of Cancer. 01/2012; 48(2):286.
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    ABSTRACT: Massively parallel sequencing technologies have brought an enormous increase in sequencing throughput. However, these technologies need to be further improved with regard to reproducibility and applicability to clinical samples and settings. Using identification of genetic variations in prostate cancer as an example we address three crucial challenges in the field of targeted re-sequencing: Small nucleotide variation (SNV) detection in samples of formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue material, minimal amount of input sample and sampling in view of tissue heterogeneity. We show that FFPE tissue material can supplement for fresh frozen tissues for the detection of SNVs and that solution-based enrichment experiments can be accomplished with small amounts of DNA with only minimal effects on enrichment uniformity and data variance.Finally, we address the question whether the heterogeneity of a tumor is reflected by different genetic alterations, e.g. different foci of a tumor display different genomic patterns. We show that the tumor heterogeneity plays an important role for the detection of copy number variations. The application of high throughput sequencing technologies in cancer genomics opens up a new dimension for the identification of disease mechanisms. In particular the ability to use small amounts of FFPE samples available from surgical tumor resections and histopathological examinations facilitates the collection of precious tissue materials. However, care needs to be taken in regard to the locations of the biopsies, which can have an influence on the prediction of copy number variations. Bearing these technological challenges in mind will significantly improve many large-scale sequencing studies and will - in the long term - result in a more reliable prediction of individual cancer therapies.
    BMC Medical Genomics 09/2011; 4:68. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe two predictive models that predict for prostate cancer on biopsy derived from a large screening population. There are no published predictive models that predict prostate cancer in a screened population. The patients from the Tyrol screening study of known age, total prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, digital rectal examination (DRE) findings, prostate volume, and percentage of free PSA, and who underwent an initial prostate biopsy from January 1992 to June 2004 were included (n = 2271). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to develop the biopsy positivity predictive models: nomogram 1, age, DRE, and total PSA; and nomogram 2, age, DRE, total PSA, and percentage of free PSA. The predictive accuracy of the models was assessed in terms of discrimination and calibration. External validation of the nomograms was performed using a urologically referred population of patients who underwent prostate biopsy (n = 599). Both nomograms were well-calibrated internally and externally and discriminated well between patients with positive and negative biopsy findings for both the European and U.S. cohorts (model 2 better than model 1). Our nomogram with age, total PSA, and DRE had good predictive ability to differentiate between screened patients with cancer on the initial prostate biopsy and those without. Adding the percentage of free PSA improves this predictive power further. These models might aid in clinical decision making regarding the need for biopsy in both European and U.S. populations.
    Urology 08/2011; 78(4):924-9. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to update an in-depth analysis of the time trend for prostate cancer (PCA) mortality in the population of Tyrol by 5 years, namely to 2008. In Tyrol, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests were introduced in 1988/89; more than three-quarters of all men in the age group 45-74 had at least one PSA test in the past decade. We applied the same model as in a previous publication, i.e., an age-period-cohort model using Poisson regression, to the mortality data covering more than three decades from 1970 to 2008. For Tyrol from 2004 to 2008 in the age group 60+ period terms show a significant reduction in prostate cancer mortality with a risk ratio of 0.70 (95% confidence interval 0.57, 0.87) for Tyrol, and for Austria excluding Tyrol a moderate reduction with a risk ratio of 0.92 (95% confidence interval 0.87, 0.97), each compared to the mortality rate in the period 1989-1993. This update strengthens our previously published results, namely that PSA testing offered to a population at no charge can reduce prostate cancer mortality. The extent of mortality reduction is in line with that reported in the other recent publications. However, our data do not permit us to fully assess the harms associated with PCA screening, and no recommendation for PSA screening can be made without a careful evaluation of overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
    International Journal of Public Health 06/2011; 57(1):57-62. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A core technology in proteomics is mass spectroscopy (MS) that permits the measurement of thousands of proteins/peptides simultanously. Sophisticated data mining methods are necessary to identify highly predictive proteomic biomarker candidates in generated MS spectra that are specific to a certain disease. However, before analysis can be started the preprocessing of raw mass spectra is an essential task, mainly due to the presence of back ground signals in the spectra such as electrical and chemical noise. In this work we present a new data mining workflow for the identification of proteomic biomarker candidates using mass spectrometry data. The workflow includes two major steps: 1) the preprocessing of raw spectra, and 2) the identification of highly discriminating candidate masses using a 3-step feature selection approach by combining the advantages of efficient filter and effective wrapper techniques. With the proposed workflow we were able to identify putative candidate biomarkers in a life-threatening human disease using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging MS (MALDI-IMS).
  • Lc Gc North America 01/2011; · 0.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer has become one of the most common malignancies worldwide. Morphological and histomorphological evaluation of this disease is a well established technique for the cancer classification and has remained relatively unchanged since several decades, although it remains a time consuming and subjective technique, with unsatisfactory levels of inter- and intra-observer discrepancy. Novel approaches for histological recognition are necessary to identify and to investigate cancer in detail. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic imaging has become an essential tool for the detection, identification and characterization of the molecular components of biological processes, such as those responsible for the dynamic properties of cancer progression. Major advantage of this new technique is the acquisition of local molecular expression profiles while maintaining the topographic integrity of the tissue and avoiding time-consuming extraction, purification and separation steps. By using this method it is possible to investigate the spatial distribution of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, cholesterols, nucleic acids, phospholipids and small molecules within biological systems by in situ analysis of tissue sections. We applied this technique on prostate cancer patients radical prostatectomy specimens in order to develop new tools for histomorphological analysis and the characterization of snap frozen prostate cancer tissues. As a first step, an optimization of sample preparation, tissue section thickness and IR slide material was performed. Special preparation methods for FTIR imaging are the essential requirements to maintain the spatial arrangement of compounds and avoid delocalization and degradation of the analytes. Subsequently, selected cancer samples were characterized with the prior optimized parameters and analyzed by univariate and cluster analysis. For the interpretation and calibration of the system we correlated the FTIR-images with the histopathological information. With this method it is possible to distinguish between cancer and noncancer areas within a prostate cancer tissue with a resolution of 6.25 μm × 6.25 μm on frozen sections.
    Molecular BioSystems 11/2010; 6(11):2287-95. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: • To evaluate the success of endoscopic dextranomer/hyaluronic acid copolymer (DHAC) application in the treatment of patients with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and vesico-ureteric reflux (VUR) into the transplanted graft after renal transplantation. • Between January 2008 and April 2009, 19 patients with recurrent UTIs presented VUR proven by voiding cystourethrography. • To correct VUR of the transplanted ureter, DHAC was injected endoscopically using hydrodistention technique. • Pre- and postoperative serum creatinine levels, the number of pre- and postoperative UTIs, postoperative complications and reflux resolution rate were recorded. The mean follow-up was 6.5 months. • The average number of UTIs was reduced significantly from 4.89 (range 2-14) to 1.31 (range 0-4) on pre- and postoperative follow-up, respectively, of 6 months (P < 0.001). The success rate increased from 57.9% after the first injection to 78.9% after the second injection. • The remaining four patients with residual VUR received long-term low dose antibiotic prophylaxis. In total, two (10.5%) patients developed increasing creatinine levels postoperatively as a result of distal ureteral obstruction, and temporary urinary drainage was necessary in both patients. • DHAC appears to be an efficient and minimal invasive method for treating VUR after renal transplantation with respect to short-term success. • Further investigation with a larger group of patients and longer follow-up is needed to evaluate the prolonged effect, as well as any potential side effects.
    BJU International 11/2010; 107(12):1967-72. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteomics screening methods for the identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in cancer are still lagging behind DNA- or RNA-based analysis. We used two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) in combination with laser capture microdissection (LCM) and MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry to determine differentially abundant proteins and candidate biomarkers in prostate cancer. Paired (benign and tumor) samples were isolated from 23 Gleason Score 6 (GS 6) and 23 Gleason Score 8 and higher (GS 8+) radical prostatectomy specimens and subjected to 2D-DIGE analysis. Minimal fluorescent dye labeling was applied and electrophoresis performed with triple samples (paired benign and tumor; internal control) for each case of tumor. Nineteen differently abundant proteins were identified by mass spectrometry and further validated. One half of them were associated with glycolysis and the Warburg effect; these were upregulated in tumors. The upregulation correlated with tumor dedifferentiation and might be relevant for selection of therapeutic strategies. Among the other proteins, heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) was significantly upregulated in tumor tissue compared to its benign counterpart. Furthermore, lamin A was statistically highly discriminatory between low and high Gleason score tumors and might serve as a new biomarker of tumor differentiation and prognosis.
    Journal of Proteome Research 10/2010; 10(1):259-68. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    World Journal of Urology 05/2010; · 2.89 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pediatric Urology 04/2010; 6. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel markers for prostate cancer (PCa) detection are needed. Total prostate-specific antigen (tPSA) and percent free prostate-specific antigen (%fPSA=tPSA/fPSA) lack diagnostic specificity. To evaluate the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) isoforms p2PSA and benign prostatic hyperplasia-associated PSA (BPHA). Our study included 405 serum samples from the Rotterdam arm of the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer and 351 samples from the Urology Department of Innsbruck Medical University. BPHA, tPSA, fPSA, and p2PSA levels were measured by Beckman-Coulter Access Immunoassay. In addition, the Beckman Coulter Prostate Health Index was calculated: phi=(p2PSA/fPSA)×√(tPSA). The p2PSA and phi levels differed significantly between men with and without PCa. No difference in BPHA levels was observed. The highest PCa predictive value in both cohorts was achieved by phi with areas under the curve (AUCs) of 0.750 and 0.709, a significant increase compared to tPSA (AUC: 0.585 and 0.534) and %fPSA (AUC: 0.675 and 0.576). Also, %p2PSA (p2PSA/fPSA) showed significantly higher AUCs compared to tPSA and %fPSA (AUC: 0.716 and 0.695, respectively). At 95% and 90% sensitivity, the specificities of phi were 23% and 31% compared to 10% and 8% for tPSA, respectively. In both cohorts, multivariate analysis showed a significant increase in PCa predictive value after addition of p2PSA to a model consisting of tPSA and fPSA (increase in AUC from 0.675 to 0.755 and from 0.581 to 0.697, respectively). Additionally, the specificity at 95% sensitivity increased from 8% to 24% and 7% to 23%, respectively. Furthermore, %p2PSA, phi, and the model consisting of tPSA and fPSA with or without the addition of p2PSA missed the least of the tumours with a biopsy or pathologic Gleason score ≥7 at 95% and 90% sensitivity. This study shows significant increases in PCa predictive value and specificity of phi and %p2PSA compared to tPSA and %fPSA. p2PSA has limited additional value in identifying aggressive PCa (Gleason score ≥7).
    European Urology 02/2010; 57(6):921-7. · 10.48 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Urology - J UROL. 01/2010; 183(4).
  • European Urology Supplements - EUR UROL SUPPL. 01/2010; 9(2):309-309.

Publication Stats

17k Citations
2,618.52 Total Impact Points


  • 1974–2013
    • University of Innsbruck
      • • Institute of Biochemistry
      • • Institut für Analytische Chemie und Radiochemie
      • • Department of Statistics
      • • Institut für Pharmazie
      • • Institute of Zoology
      Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
  • 1991–2012
    • Medizinische Universität Innsbruck
      • • Univ.-Klinik für Urologie
      • • Univ.-Klinik für Radiologie
      Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
    • Universität Regensburg
      • Institut für Pharmazie
      Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2010
    • Erasmus MC
      • Department of Urology
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2008
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Urology
      Baltimore, MD, United States
    • Semantic Technology Institute Innsbruck
      Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
    • Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
      • Department of Urology
      Kyoto, Kyoto-fu, Japan
    • Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
      Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
    • Haydarpasa Numune Research and Teaching Hospital
      İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2005–2008
    • New York Presbyterian Hospital
      • Department of Urology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2006
    • State Hospital Feldkirch
      • Department of Urology
      Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, Austria
  • 2004
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Urology
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
  • 2003
    • Krankenhaus der Barmherzige Schwestern
      Linz, Upper Austria, Austria
  • 2002–2003
    • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
      • Department of Urology
      Scottsdale, AZ, United States
    • Thomas Jefferson University
      • Department of Radiology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2001
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • Department of Urology
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1996
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Urology
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 1983
    • Landeskrankenhaus - Universitätskliniken Innsbruck
      Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
  • 1981
    • Universität Basel
      • Institute of Geology and Paleontology
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland